SNCR research initiative sets out to find solutions to address fake news

Truth

Hardly a day goes by without the topic of fake news becoming a news headline itself especially when it concerns Donald Trump. For most people, fake news is largely seen as a driver of distrust about what you read, see and hear online as well as a creator of fear, uncertainty and doubt about the sources that publish it. Earlier this year Tim Berners-Lee said that misinformation – or ‘fake news’ which is surprising, shocking, or designed to appeal to our biases – can spread like wildfire. And it does. For the past six months and more, it’s a topic that has been an ongoing primary discussion theme in the Small Data Forum podcast I co-host each month with Thomas […]

Continue reading


SDF podcast 10: Big Data is never a be-all and end-all

Amid congressional hearings and FBI investigations in the US about whether and how Russia interfered with the US Presidential Elections, discussions continue about the efficacy and ethics of micro-targeting voters. In our latest and 10th edition of the SmallDataForum podcast, Neville, Sam and Thomas reflect on the outcome of the recent general elections in the UK. This episode’s show notes were written by Thomas Stoeckle. We agree that, unlike last time, Labour did better than the Conservatives digitally at this election. In combining doorstep campaigning with digital targeting in marginal seats (based on the insights from their proprietary software) and generally being on the ball with issues online, Labour managed to connect the dots more successfully than the Conservatives. This […]

Continue reading


For Immediate Release 96: The crisis that keeps on giving

In the July installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report, Shel and I talked about these topics: A 15-year-old participating in a work experience program took over the Twitter account of the beleaguered Southern Rail in the UK. The response to #AskEddie was undoubtedly a welcome break for Southern Rail’s social media team, but what did it ultimately accomplish? The online publication Quartz experiments with display-type ads in the text of stories that let users ask an artificial intelligence-based chatbot named Hugo for more information about just the stuff you’re interested in. Will artificial intelligence eventually take over the creative side of content marketing? Takata’s air bag crisis is in its second decade, leading ultimately to the once-mighty company’s bankruptcy. […]

Continue reading


SDF podcast 9: Either back to the future or fast forward to a new normal

Thought / via Pixabay CC0

In the latest episode 9 of The Small Data Forum podcast, hosted by Thomas Stoeckle in conversation with regulars Sam Knowles and me, we enjoyed a wide-ranging, lively conversation over the course of 45 minutes on topics as diverse as the 2017 general election campaign (what went wrong for Theresa May and the Conservatives with a clear focus on the politics) and the latest global communications report from the Annenberg School of Communications (we focused especially on PR and AVE). Writer of the show notes for this episode is Sam: News is neither a fixed nor a finite entity. There are some periods in history when it feels like there’s just more happening than at others. I’m not talking about […]

Continue reading


For Immediate Release 92: Marketing failures of the UK’s Conservative Party

Labour won social media election - Guardian front page

We said we’d do one episode together of the For Immediate Release podcast as a ‘limited return engagement,’ emulating The Hobson and Holtz Report that Shel and I did for ten years. We did do that with episode 84 in April. We enjoyed it so much we decided to do another one, and so we recorded episode 92 yesterday. In keeping with our ‘hefty but good’ slogan, Shel and I enjoyed a conversation over an hour and forty minutes that covered a big agenda: There’s a new mobile-based social network that has been described as Twitter for audio. Neville has been using Hear Me Out for a week, and Shel has been listening to the 42-second audio clips. Neville delved […]

Continue reading